How to create Eccentric Overload in Flywheel Training
Eccentric training improves strength, speed, power and performance-related abilities like jump height and running speed to a greater extend than concentric or traditional training. But what do we mean by eccentric training and eccentric overload?
Lifting a weight with your biceps is a good example of a concentric movement. Your muscles become shorter and therefore lift the weight towards the ceiling.
When you lengthen your muscles again, the weight will go back to the starting position. Lengthening the muscles and therefore lowering the weight is called an eccentric movement.
It is possible to do an eccentric movement without using a lot of strength. For example, by lowering a low-weight dumbbell. However, when we talk about eccentric overload, we don’t talk about these low-weight movements. A movement contains eccentric overload when you produce more force then you are able to produce concentrically. In practice this often means you lower more weight than you could lift (>1RM). Therefore, lowering a weight slowly does not contain an eccentric overload if you were able to lift it. It should come as no surprise that slow eccentric movements do not have the same positive results as true eccentric overload movements.
Eccentric overload in Flywheel Training
But how are you going to lower a weight eccentrically when you weren’t able to lift it? That’s a serious practical problem if you don’t have one (or two) personal trainer(s) helping. But not in Flywheel Training. If you don’t do anything special, every flywheel training exercise contains as much concentric force as eccentric force. Action equals reaction. Due to gravity, this is not the case in traditional weight training. But how do you create eccentric overload in Flywheel training? There are 4 easy to perform strategies!
Produce concentric energy in the full range of motion, but absorb the energy eccentrically in a fraction of the range of motion.
- (1) Delayed eccentric overload
- (2) Impulse overload
Use more muscles in the concentric movement than in the eccentric movement
- (3) Add a concentric muscle group
Quadriceps + Biceps = Biceps + Eccentric Biceps Overload
Squat + Pull up = Squat + Eccentric Squat Overload
- (4) Unilateral overload
Quadriceps right + Quadriceps left = Quadriceps right + Eccentric Overload
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